Post Mortems

Person of Interest EPs Talk Finale's 'Insidious' Corrections, the 'Terrifying Dystopia' (Hopefully) to Come

Person of Interest Season 5 Premiere Date

If push comes to shove, The Machine, as mighty and as omniscient as She is, can be squeezed into a piece of carry-on luggage.

That remarkable fact proved handy at the conclusion of Person of Interest‘s Season 4 finale, as Harold & Co. were led to an electrical substation in Brooklyn, where The Machine — after hiding Herself in the national’s electrical grid all this time — was chased into a corner by Samaritan. Using a briefcase full of memory cards and several bags of ice, Harold managed to download a “strand” of The Machine’s DNA, while Root and Reese (barely) fended off a barrage of baddies.

Elsewhere, Greer revealed to Control that the mysterious “correction” she was out to prevent was not some clumsy bombing of the Supreme Court but a precise and invisible elimination of “disruptors, outliers” and the “disloyal,” the “grit in the gears” that her own lack of faith helped expose. Among those snuffed or at least significantly sidelined were Elias, Dominic and Control’s henchman Grice. (Among other casualties, meanwhile, Root earlier had the pleasure of taking out steely Martine.)

Here, showrunners Greg Plageman and Jonah Nolan break down the finale’s big twists and ponder the outlook for Season 5. But first, perhaps the most pressing question at hand….

TVLINE | How did you manage to go four whole seasons before busting out Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to The Machine”?
GREG PLAGEMAN | [Laughs] We have been sitting on that one for a while. We actually tried it in another episode and were like, “No, it’s too good. We have to save it for something huge.” But that was Floyd, the real thing. We actually had to write those guys a letter to get their permission; it was pretty cool.

TVLINE | Based on how the finale ended, are we looking at a significantly different, perhaps incapacitated Machine next season?
JONAH NOLAN | Root describes it best — that if the Machine is an organism, what they have is a strand of DNA [downloaded into the briefcase]. So yeah, we’re looking next season at having to rebuild The Machine, all while not being scooped up and eliminated by “the new world order.”

TVLINE | But it won’t be just a game of “carry the football,” right? She won’t stay in the briefcase the whole season, will She?
NOLAN | No, no…. Definitely not the whole season. The idea is you’ve got that strand of DNA and you need to grow it back into The Machine, and one of the questions becomes: Will it be the same Machine when you turn it back on?

TVLINE | How would Person of Interest Season 5 PreviewSeason 5 then differ from this past season, which was about keeping The Machine safe while Samaritan was on the hunt?
PLAGEMAN | Greer said it pretty explicitly in terms of how Samaritan operates and what true power really is — the reshuffling of the deck that we saw in the finale with the “correction.” You see Samaritan removing those that it considers problematic or obstructions, and it was very lethal and insidious. I think we’re going to see how Samaritan tightens that grip, and with our Machine being under duress, how will our guys sort of reconstitute and get The Machine back in a place where they can not only continue to work with the numbers, but find a way to go up against Samaritan?

TVLINE | You startled me as much as Control with the reveal of what the “correction” truly was. I suspected the house with the bomb-making clues was some sort of trap, but….
NOLAN | That’s what we were going for. You’re thinking it’s going to be another spectacular ploy by Samaritan, but this goes back to the “insidious” thing. The question the show has been asking for an awful long time is: When that next measure of control sets in, in terms of the information “pushing back a bit,” will we even know? We’ve all settled into a place, post-Snowden, where we’ve all resigned ourselves to the idea that someone, or maybe many someones, are digging around in our personal lives. If you look at the Equation Group [hacking collective] stuff that came to light last year, it’s hard to imagine a place that the NSA isn’t at this point. But beyond that, there’s a new level of: “Am I ever going to know what they’re doing with that information? Am I ever going to know when that information has been used to subtly reorder things around me?” The frightening question we want to ask next season is: What if that measure of control was completely and totally transparent, and you had no idea that your life and those around you was being altered by a slightly higher power? That’s a terrifying dystopia, the one you can’t see. Instead, you’re just, “Things look great!”

TVLINE | What is the current outlook for Season 5?
NOLAN | We’re feeling very good about renewal at this point, Unless you’ve heard something we haven’t, we’re feeling very good about a renewal.

TVLINE | If you get a Season 5, are you perhaps prepared to then wrap up the series with a nice tidy bow?
NOLAN | We are not planning on calling it quits with Season 5. The show has a very loyal core audience, and it’s a very big, very loyal core audience, so we’re hoping to continue telling stories for some time.

TVLINE | Turning to the finale’s many deaths and possible deaths: Dominic?
PLAGEMAN | Yeah, he’s gone.

TVLINE | Elias, though, seemed to be hanging on by a thread….
PLAGEMAN | We can neither confirm nor deny.

TVLINE | Grice?
PLAGEMAN | Yeah, he is pretty dead. But his partner is still alive somewhere out there — presumably pissed off!

TVLINE | And Martine was obviously quite dead.
PLAGEMAN | Martine is sadly extra-dead. When Root kills someone, it’s not a sort of “Eh,” ambiguous situation. You’re just dead.


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  1. Phoebe says:

    I really hope Elias is still alive.

    • Carm says:

      Me too. I like him.

    • Paul says:

      I keep wondering if they’re going to read him in at some point. His intellect, coupled with a decidedly abnormal worldview, would be an asset in dealing with Samaritan.

    • Mike says:

      Me too. He is great bad guy with so much nuance. He should be one of their assets. I am pretty sure he lives because in one of the post finale producer interviews they mentioned him as being there next season in some obscure way, which surprised me. I have read so many reviews I forgot which one, sorry!

    • Becky says:

      Please let Elias be alive. And part of the team next year, even if only from time to time.

  2. ScrubsGuy says:


    • ralph says:

      OK Elias Lives. But the awesome show, the writing of his character in the show are just a part of the shows success. More than Elias are the main characters
      like John, Root, Shaw, Harold, Fusco, etc… Make the show a hit for sure. I can’t wait for the return of Shaw. Long live Shaw!!!!!

  3. David Roche says:

    Incredible season ender…from a show that continues to exceed expectations & reinvent itself. Stellar cast & writing. Looking forward to next year…

    • Nan says:

      Let’s keep our fingers crossed that there will be a next year. I like the writing of this show and there is an excellent cast. My hope is that Sameen returns. IMO, from day one, Emerson, Caviezel, Henson, Chapman were spot on when it came to casting. Brilliant. If they can continue to run formulaic shows like NCIS and mindnumbing reality shows, then they can honor their faithful viewers by renewing POI for more seasons.

    • POI Fanatic says:

      I agree completely and I can hardly wait to see what they do next season. Please God I hope Elias will be there! I was really sad to see Grice gone…

  4. Jason Stoesz says:

    They cancel this show and I am f***** DONE with network TV. This is the best show on network television and it’s not even close. Only non-cable, non-HBO/SHO show I watch. How is it even a question of renewal?!

    • ScrubsGuy says:

      Less than stellar ratings + an expensive to produce show? Most places seem to have it down for a lock – it wasn’t until the last Ask Ausiello where rumblings started that the show’s chances for renewal took a dive (at least here – some places have called it a bubble show for a while).

      • Gallifreyan13 says:

        Almost ever site I’ve seen has never had this show in the bubble. It’s always pretty much been a safe bet. I’m positive that it’s gonna get picked up. It’s ratings have pretty much been the same of the rest of the shows . Ratings this year have been pretty low altogether .

      • PantsGuy says:

        Less than stellar ratings??? What are you looking at. The show does quite well for being on CBS and not having NCIS in the name.

      • dman6015 says:

        But it’s CBS. If they can hang onto a piece of *bleep* like Mike and Molly (albeit less expensive to produce), they can renew POI.

    • Moe Quinn says:

      Agree completely – if CBS pulls the plug on POI, I don’t care how many CSIs, NCISs and stupid sitcoms are on, that’s it for me re CBS and network TV, period.

      • Rumpledforeskin says:

        I agree. If you also include ‘The Blacklist’ – another stellar network offering IMHO.

    • Nix Nutz says:

      It seems they are a bit out of stories. The are beginning to make mistakes. One is, that The Machine doesn’t have a stand agains Samaritan. We were watching The Machine shrinking ove a whole season. Second was, for instance, missing the potential in Khan. They gave him enough potential to be an interesting ally, who wants his lfe back. All they gave him was a bad end. Another thing was the episode with Carter as a ‘Helping Vision’. That was much too long. And we all knew, John would survive.
      If the showrunners are not shure about the future and seemingly do not have a full load of exciting stories in the drawer, I assume there must be sme discord behind the doors (not only while playing “welcome to rhe machine”)…And the season finale was, at least, one of the episodes with the lowest quality of interest so far…

      • ralph says:

        I disagree with you nix. Makes sense, and WAS NOT the lowest quality season finale, other shows that were renewed weren’t as good. Great show and finale.

  5. Steve says:

    If CBS doesn’t renew this unbeliavably awesome show, it will be a grave error in judgment. If anything, get rid of your 18 CSI’s and NCIS’s, there’s only one POI, and it’s superb quality cannot be debated. Renew it already, and DO NOT make a mistake.

    • POI Fanatic says:

      Amen! Frankly, I don’t get the draw of all the CSI’s and NCIS’s. I tried NCIS for one episode and I just don’t see any magic–but POI is unique!

    • ralph says:

      Agreed and glad the network renewed it. Hope more than one season aI hope.

  6. Dave says:

    Why is this show listed as “Could go either way” in your renewal scorecard? Have you heard something they haven’t? I don’t even want to think that I could’ve just watched the series finale…

    • ScrubsGuy says:

      If it’s a series finale, then it ends like Angel (ironically, Amy Acker’s other show) – going out in a blaze of glory!

    • Sammy says:

      The ratings have taken a dive since last season so using that knowledge TVLine has determined that it could go either way because CBS usually cancels shows with ratings within that rangee. EW and TVBythenumbers also are not happy to say that the show will get a season 5 outright… But I think the network would have told the producers by now… They have a great relationship with them and would want them to develop more tv in the long run…. We shall no within the next two weeks…

  7. Phoebe says:

    This might be a stupid question but does anyone know why this episode was titled “YHWH?” Is it an acronym for something? Maybe it was mentioned and I missed it?

    • John says:

      I believe it’s Hebrew – Yahweh or God

      • Sean says:

        Yeah, like that Bible story where Moses and Jesus stick God in a briefcase to save him from the Good Samaritan. Jk.

    • Ari says:

      It’s also making reference to the Creator and father aspect between Harold and the Machine. The Machine was fighting til the very end to stay alive and when it realized it couldn’t, it was asking for Harold’s forgiveness.

    • Brian Spahr says:

      In ancient Jewish culture the name of God was considered too holy to be spoken. YHWH became the unpronounceable way of writing God’s name in the Hebrew Scriptures. There are no vowels. Later people transliterated it to say Yaweh or Jehovah.

      For the show it makes me ask the question, who is god? Is it Harold? The machine? Samaritan? Sure seemed like the machine considered Harold to be God. Father. Creator.

      Love this show.

      • skscott says:

        The Tetragrammiton is written in whole or in part over 7000 times in the Hebrew AND Greek ( Christian scriptures) Plus the original Hebrew had zero vowels.. instead they used vowel points that let the reader know what vowels were supposed to be there… that is why it is Yahweh with the a and e being implied…

        • ralph says:

          Just very happy the show is returning. Yawheh, implied or obvious, great to put it in the finale. I like the plots within the show. Awesome finale and look forward to seasons to come!

  8. Vivian says:

    OMG the best finale ever. Elias is alive cuz they did not said he was dead. Can’t wait until the new season begin.

  9. Julie says:

    Ur large and very loyal fan base needs Elias and season5

  10. Tarajifan says:

    Elias is the Stefano of POI, and the Phoenix always rises!

  11. SPAMMER says:


  12. SPAMMER says:


  13. Jer says:

    I think sebaweb creator and webpage are spies sent by Samaritan. ha! Great finale. Had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Where are they gonna build the Machine back without causing huge power usages for Samaritan to see? Happy to see Shaw’s face in that mirror last week. Glad they didn’t kill off Fusco. I like that grumpy gremlin a lot. LIke ’em all actually. So many fans were so against Root when she first appeared on the show, especially after Carter was killed off, but I’ve been a huge fan from the start. Her relationship with the Machine and that smart, and sometimes funny, mouth of hers is hilarious. Wouldn’t be the same without her.
    Looking forward to Season 5; Season 6; Season 7 and so on. (How the heck is the team gonna stay out of Samaritan’s view without the machine’s help?? I wouldn’t mind an extra character or two to make up for Carter’s absence.. someone kinda funny once in a while to give us a bit more humorous breaks every now and then). Freakin’ love this show.

  14. ? says:

    Wait, that was the finale and we didn’t even get a final Samaritan showdown? Maaaaaaaaaan.

  15. Lee says:

    This was a great season finale and it just leaves you wanting more. Bring on the next season.

  16. machinesecondfather says:

    am expecting poi back for sn5
    we gonna raise babymachine together

  17. Pink Floyd on POI: a season finale win

  18. alex says:

    this better get renewed

  19. Rootfan says:

    I can see Greer being taken to the same place where Shaw is being held and they join forces to break out and Greer joining Harold and the group to fight Samaritan

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      And by Greer you of course mean Control ;)

      • Big Daddy D says:

        Greer and Control-2 different people..although Samaritan is the REAL Control.

      • I’m assuming he meant Control. I have said since last week that she’s is going to join our gang. It’s been coming for a while with her – ever since Control found out about that shootout in the basement that Greer covered up.

    • Sean says:

      Me no like Camryn Manheim on this show…she done well but just don’t think she fits…would be fine if she’s gone. Don’t like the Greer actor either , though, they shuld replace him with William B. Davis and have this show crossover with upcoming X-Files new season!

      • The Carpooler says:

        You realize Greer is series creator Jonathan Nolan, right? He’s there for the duration.

        • The Carpooler says:

          I stand corrected to my own post. Greer is John Nolan. He is the uncle of series creator Jonathan Nolan.

  20. KenL says:

    If I were the producers, I would try to work with the network to do what Lost did; namely, set a specific end date by which time they would end the story/show. This is, hands down, one of the most interesting and exciting and fun shows on tv. But, business being what it is, I would argue that they make a 3 season plan for 5, 6 an 7, with an end date at end of season 7. Anyway, the network would be nuts to drop this show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Jeff says:

    I don’t know if they could have chosen a better song for the closing act. Awesome season ender.

  22. Maurine Darling says:

    I love this show but they need to continue to work on toning down the damn music, if one can decipher the words one can grasp the nuances of the plot, lets be honest Reese mumbles through his teeth. Elias must live – he brings a wonderful element to the show & I hope they get back to the “numbers”…looking forward to Season 5

    • dman6015 says:

      I believe there’s a button on your remote labeled “CC”. It’s often used by those who are, let’s say, aging gracefully.

  23. Mike says:

    I felt like they knocked it out of the park the last few episodes. One reviewer said the villian is now Samaritan, and this is no longer the case of the week. Which I agree with.
    This show is more timely and true than many people want to think about. We should be scared and fighting back much more about our privacy.

    • Sean says:

      Each year though, the show gets more Samaritan and less Machine, though, if you catch my drift. To cancel it ourite would have been too suspicious, so each year it gets mre PC and answers less questions then it was asking seasons 1 and 2.

  24. Jake says:

    This show was never about the case of the week, they were just a way to ease you into the real story, the technological singularity, or when machines start to think for themselves.

  25. niloofar says:

    This Show gets bettter every season, one of the best season finales I’ve seen in a while, from Machine’s fax to help Reese kill Dominic’s guys which was truly badass, the action and suspense of the episode plus the great acting of the cast and the best part was Harold’s conversation set to Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to The Machine”, I teared up in that scene.

    Finally if this show gets cancelled as Jason Stoesz said I too will be f***** DONE with network TV, plus I really hope Elias survives, Dominic was boring.

  26. Mary says:

    Elias has to be alive, and I hope Ms.Shah is too. No word on her.

  27. Michelle Francisco says:

    I have so loved your show from the beginning….love everyone in it. “She” is the bomb! Thank you for enlightening me!

  28. Tom says:

    I wish the writers would kill off the old Brit, get rid of Samaritan, and have The Machine and the cast go back to dealing with numbers, which made it the great show it was.

    • rusty says:

      I agree! I am getting tired of this Samaritan crap. Somehow it always wins. The story line each week about how to save the machine and so forth is getting really old fast. If they don’t start to win and get the machine back in play the way the series started, I’m done with it.

  29. jayne says:

    one of the best written shows out there..I was thinking that when Root started playing chicken, that The Machine would adapt this behavior and lead Samaritan on a wild goose chase.

  30. Jack says:

    Do you know what’s wrong? Get back to basics. The machine started out giving up names of people who were in danger. And then it morphed into a kind of political-sci fi mess. Often I cannot even follow the plot. It was successful because people really like seeing bad guys lose when attacking good people. Not the crap you have been offering up. Put me and my wife down for probably not watching next season…along with millions of others. Sorry

  31. m88 says:

    I know this web site offers quality based articles or reviews and additional stuff, is there
    any other web page which gives these stuff in quality?

  32. nejtysk says:

    The scene of Control talking to Greer destroyed the atmosphere of an otherwise brilliant season finale. She is an intelligence and black-ops specialist, yet she will just talk to her enemy and stare on a screen with him behind her and, even worse, her back to the doors. She would have known he has agents and also that the long conversation allowed Samaritan to send other henchmen there, as it was obviously still operation. Even if she did not know about its semi-sentience (unlike the machine, it Samaritan has never made decisions on its own or showed real sentience. Remember, it was told by Greer that its job is to rule the world. It is doing what it was instructed to), which was unlikely because of the open actions by the Samaritan controled child in the White House, she must have known it is programmed to self-preserve. So her actions were beyond stupid and irrational. She intentionally talked to the Senator with it unable to listen but she meets Greer in the room of its communication. Meh.

  33. charlie andrus says:

    I have found this program increasingly boring – even more so since the disappearance of Shaw who was one of the best characters. I probably won’t watch it next season.

  34. Jay Sanchez says:

    Im really hoping they get shaw back on their team and can they find Samaritan and plug the machines dna into it and override Samaritan from inside it’s own mainframe and the machine becomes more intelligent and omnipotent but still look to finch as father including installing some ware in a humanoid robot trying to obtain life . Kinda like robin Williams in that movie years ago sorry can’t remember the movie name

  35. AKA says:

    Why do they spend so much time with Elias and Dominic plotlines? I don’t mind Elias as a sort of shadowy helper, but the battle between Elias and Dominic seemed like a whole separate show to me.

  36. Justin Sullivan says:

    Man that was some finale. I hope POI is back next season. I can’t believe that it’s been slipping in the ratings. What else could people be watching Chicago Fire?

  37. Justin says:

    That was some finale. I hope POI comes back next season. I don’t why it’s slipping in the ratings. What else people watching Chicago Fire?

  38. I am glad it is hopefully coming back.There are not many shows on for the grownups.

  39. rrb says:

    Welcome To The Machine!! Frack yeah!!!! Made a grand finale!

  40. Deion says:

    That was a great finale. Very glad that Dominic is gone. After the greatness that was HR, he wasn’t a match for Elias. I agree with some above, Elias needs to be read in. If Samaritan wants him dead, he can be of value to the machine. So, Enrico Colantoni needs to clear his schedule next season. And I hope that Sara Shahi knows that we love and miss Shaw and we’d really appreciate it if she could take the summer then try to pull herself away from her babies and bring Shaw back to us. The team is going to need all the guns it can get.

  41. TheDus2009 says:

    i had chills for the last 15 mins of the episode.
    what a great hour of tv it was.

  42. Heidi says:

    One of the best written and well-acted shows on TV. Brilliant and evocative and nearly always a nail-biter. I am hoping for season 5.

  43. Heidi says:

    If they could get Harper Rose from switching sides, she would also be a great asset to Team Machine, since there was no resolution on her whereabouts after John took out the glass-jawed guy + Dominic’s thugs

  44. cynthia says:

    It was the worst episode ever! I hated seeing Harold being such a naysayer and all of the stupid talking during the crisis was idiotic. I love the show, but not really sure where it is going to go next season. I realize that it had to evolve, but I really miss the old structure of getting numbers and helping people. Oh, and who is watching Bear? He is smart but I doubt he can feed and walk himself :-(

  45. tgx says:

    There’s only one reason POI would not be renewed — the “intelligence” community wants to suppress it.

  46. Ari says:

    The season finale had me on the edge of my seat! I literally felt for the Machine; I didn’t want it to die. The way it communicated with Reese and Root to save their bacon was a fun and brilliant bit of writing on the part of the writers.

  47. Andrew Melanson says:

    Awesome show!!!! Excellent season finale!!!! Hope the show sticks around for atleast another 5 seasons. Can’t wait for season 5.

  48. Andrew Melanson says:

    YHWH is greek for God.

  49. Bill Gates says:

    Amazing show . My body is ready for Season 5 . ;)